The Curriculum and Course Load
The Qualifying Examination
In the first year every matriculating graduate student will
take at least six courses (most fellowship holders will take eight),
of which two or three are required courses (Folklore 500, and
either 502, 503, or 606, depending on offerings in a given year).
In the second year students are required to take one more required
course, FOLK 502 or FOLK 606. Students should choose courses taught
by members of the core folklore faculty, or members of the Graduate Group. Before registering
for courses, students must have their curriculum approved by both
their faculty advisor and the graduate chair.
Upon completion of eight course units, students will take a qualifying
examination. Students must pass the exam in order to apply for
the MA degree or to continue with their course work toward the
Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife. Any student who fails the exam
will be counseled by the faculty about his/her options. The examination
will be given at the end of the first year, scheduled for a four-hour
period on the Monday of the examination week of the Spring semester.
The examination will cover the following materials:
- The reading lists of the required courses
- Standard folklore reference tools
The last two complete volumes of the following journals:
- Journal of American Folklore
- Journal of Folklore Research
- Western Folklore
- The First-Year Reading list
The First-Year Reading List
Abrahams, Roger D. Photocopied packet of articles (available
at Wharton Reprographics
Barnes, Sandra. 1997. Africa's Ogun: Old World and New.
Second, expanded edition. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Bauman, Richard, ed. 1975. Verbal Art as Performance.
Prospect Heights: Waveland Press.
Bausinger, Hermann. 1990 (or 1961). Folk Culture in a World
of Technology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Becker, Jane. 1998. Selling Tradition. Chapel Hill: University
of North Carolina Press.
Ben-Amos, Dan. 1976. Folklore Genres. Austin: University
of Texas Press.
Bendix, Regina. 1997. In Search of Authenticity: The Formation
of Folklore Studies. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Briggs, Charles. 1989. Competence in Performance: The Creativity
of Tradition in Mexicano Verbal Art. Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania Press.
Dorst, John. 1999. Looking West. Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania Press.
Dorson, Richard M. 1983. Folklore and Folklife. Knozville:
University of Tennessee Press.
Dundes, Alan. 1989. Folklore Matters. Knoxville: University
of Tennessee Press.
Feierman, Steven. 1990. Peasant Intellectuals: Anthropology
and History in Tanzania. Madison: University of Wisconsin
Feintuch, Burt. 1995. Common Ground: Keywords for the Study
of Expressive Culture. Special Issue of the Journal of
Glassie, Henry. 1993. Turkish Traditional Art Today. Bloomington:
Indiana University Press.
Glassie, Henry. 1995. Art and Life in Bangladesh. Bloomington:
Indiana University Press.
Gross, Larry. 1995. "Art and Artists on the Margin." in L. Gross,
ed. On the Margins of Art Worlds, pp. 1-16, Boulder, CO:
Holbek, Bengt. 1987. The Interpretation of Fairy Tales.
FFC 239. Helsinki: Soumalainen Tiedeakatemia.
Hufford, David J. 1982. The Terror that Comes in the Night.
Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press.
Hufford, Mary. 1992. Chaseworld. Foxhunting and Storytelling
in New Jersey's Pinebarrens. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Lord, Albert. 1960. The Singer of Tales. Cambridge: Harvard
Matter, E. Ann. 1985. "The Virgin Mary: A Goddess?" in Carl
Olson, ed. The Book of the Goddess Past and Present. New
Muller, Carol. 1999. Rituals of Fertility and the Sacrifice
of Desire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Narayan, Kirin in collaboration with Urmila Devi Sood. 1997.
"Mondays on the Dark Night of the Moon." Himalayan Foothill
Folktales. New York: Oxford.
O'Connor, Bonnie B. 1995. Healing Traditions: Alternative
Medicines and the Health Professions. Philadelphia: The University
of Pennsylvania Press.
Roberts, John W. 1999. "Folklore and the Problem of Invisibility."
Journal of American Folklore 112:119-139.
St. George, Robert Blair. 1998. Conversing by Signs: Poetics
of Implication in Colonial New England Culture.
Stewart, Susan. 1984. On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature,
the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Baltimore: The
Johns Hopkins University Press.
Taylor, Archer. 1956. The Shanghai Gesture. FFC
66, 1 no. 166. Helsinki.
Urban, Greg. 1991. A Discourse-Centered Approach to Culture.
Native South American Myths and Rituals. Austin: University
of Texas Press.
Zelizer, Barbie. 1992. Covering the Body: The Kennedy Assassination,
The Media and The Shaping of Collective Memory. Chicago: The
University of Chicago Press.
The core courses for graduate study (for students starting the
program in the fall of 1998 and hence forward) comprise the following
four required seminars:
Proseminar in Folklore and Folklife: (FOLK 500) This course
acquaints students with the breadth of subject areas researched
within the discipline. Expressive culture and its social base has
been conceptualized differently over time. To facilitate an understanding
of the field's historical legacies and its current contours, students
will work with materials and theoretical readings from past and
present. Course assignments and a mid-term exam provide opportunities
to experiment with different professional skills, from the practical
to the theoretical. A linked course in library research customarily
accompanies this course. It is led by David Azzolina, Reference
Librarian and folklorist.
Fieldwork Theory/Research Design: (FOLK 502) acknowledges
the important place of ethnography in the ways in which folklore
is collected and analyzed. It is a hands-on course which examines
the theory behind fieldwork and the experience of being a folklorist
in the field, drawing heavily on parallel disciplinary experiences
such as anthropology and sociology. In lieu of a seminar paper
students write a grant proposal.
Recent Issues in Folklore Theory: (FOLK 503) is concerned
primarily with folkloristics of the twentieth century, with special
focus on the work most discussed in the profession today. It aligns
folklore with related disciplines and provides an introduction
to the profession as it is practiced through the development and
reading of scholarly papers.
History of Folklore Studies: (FOLK 606) This course offers
a survey of the intellectual and sociological beginnings of the
field in international and American folkloristics. Students are
expected to read broadly and beyond their future area of specialization
and research a focused paper in the field's intellectual history.
The Ph.D. requires a total of 20 course credits. Depending on
whether a student arrives without or with an MA, these courses
are to be completed while adhering to the following rules:
a) Beginning graduates study WITHOUT an MA:
At least 12 and up to 20 courses are to be chosen from departmental
and graduate group offerings. Courses taken outside the program/graduate
group should be chosen with an eye toward building area expertise
or a disciplinary concentration (e.g., 4 courses in AMES or African
Studies, or 4 courses in Classics, History, Education, etc.) The
faculty advisor and graduate chair are in charge of ensuring that
the integrity of the folklore/folklife training is maintained
as a priority, while also guiding students in finding and taking
advantage of opportunities available at Penn.
b) Entering the program with an MA in hand:
The different types of MA's our students typically arrive with
lead to differential requirements. The standard is as follows:
At least 10 and up to 12 courses are to be taken within the folklore
program and graduate group offerings. Depending on how many of
the up-to-8 transferred courses are equivalent to courses offered
in folklore, this number may be adjusted. Decisions will be made
on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the faculty advisor
and final approval by the graduate chair.
The normal course load for a student is four courses per semester.
At the rate of four courses per semester, the eight courses for
the Master's are completed in two semesters, the twenty for the
Ph.D. in five. Students without funding may space their course
work so as to adjust for their work needs. Any student registered
for four classes may audit one class free. This policy must be
confirmed with the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences from
semester to semester, because it may change. Audits must be arranged
by going in person to the Office of the University Registrar;
the Program office cannot register students for courses which
they wish to officially audit.
Students are strongly advised against taking INCOMPLETES in
any courses, even if professors are willing to accept them.
The only sufficient grounds for an Incomplete are personal
ill-health and family tragedy. We have found that even students
with the best intentions will often not make up an Incomplete
in the following term, but instead will add additional Incompletes
to their record. Incomplete work must be completed within a year,
or the Incomplete will become permanent. This is a policy of the
Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences. ALL Incompletes
MUST be resolved before the student takes comprehensive
exams. In addition, students with outstanding Incompletes on their
records will not be considered for grants, fellowships, and teaching
to previous page